Knowledge, risk, and policy support: Public perceptions of nuclear power
Nuclear energy was becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to air polluting fossil fuel technologies through the latter half of the 2000s. The tragic events of March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan appear to have instantly killed any momentum the nuclear industry had gained. While unfortunate, many argue that nuclear power is still a safe alternative and that the Fukushima disaster resulted from insufficient safety regulations in Japan, a problem that does not exist in the United States. This project examines U.S. public support for nuclear energy one year after the Fukushima tragedy, seeking to understand the influence of knowledge and risk perceptions on policy support. We evaluate public support for nuclear energy policy from several perspectives using risk and attitudinal measurements that are more specific than often found in the literature to obtain a greater understanding of the connection between policy and risk.
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